I was recently inspired by my magazine Thriving Family, by Focus on the Family to notice “acts of love” throughout the month of February. In our family, we talk a lot about Godly love and how to show God’s love, so this idea of recognizing acts of love went right along with our teaching.
How it Works
Throughout the month of February, anytime someone in our family acts in love they will get to pick out a heart to hang on our “Love Chart”. Some examples would be “wow, Claire, you really showed that you love God by obeying me the first time, you get to pick out a heart for our love chart”, or “wow, Landen, you really showed love to your sister when you gave her your last piece of candy, that was kind”.
At the end of every day, we will count how many times God’s love shined through our actions. We will talk about how if we grow closer to God, his love will continue to shine through us. Then we will close the day by praying for God to teach us to love others. This would be a great closing to the day after everyone is ready for bed, or at the family dinner table.
Make Your Own
This board was super easy to make, it was leftover from one of my advent calendars, so I am excited to use it for another holiday.
There are so many ways to open gifts on Christmas morning. Times of gift giving can be a great opportunity to teach your children about love and gratefulness. It can also be a time to feed greed and a materialistic desire if you are not careful.
In our home we usually hand out Christmas gifts by the “giver”. Each person giving the gifts hands the gift they are giving to the recipient, then they watch them open it. We all take turns doing this. Focusing on the giver, rather than the recipient, aids in teaching the joy of giving. Our children have always loved this and usually delight in watching the gift they are giving be opened.
I was visiting a local store here in my town and found some awesome window clings that are also cute! We purchased some fall themed sets, but they have all seasons and designs!
These are called GelGems, so far I am happy with them. They are a thick gel that clings well to the window. My children have spent a significant period of time arranging and re-arranging leaves and turkeys. The recommended ages are 4+, which I would definitely agree with. My son decapitated a turkey on the first day-he thinks it’s fun to stretch the gels until the tear.
At this point I am definitely happy with my purchase, besides one decapitated turkey they seem to be holding up well.
It is the Christmas season! Some years we exchange gifts, some we don’t . Some years I have a gift exchange or other ladies I want to get a small gift for. If you are looking for some ideas for small gifts, this is one of my favorite kitchen tools that is relatively inexpensive.
It is a manual food processor, the price runs ~$12-20. I use this to chop onions, carrots, peppers, garlic, nuts (does a fine chop), potatoes etc. It does a fine rough chop. I usually peel (if necessary) my vegetable, then cut it into big chunks to fit, put the lid on, pull the handle, and in a matter of seconds it is chopped! There are many manual food processors available. I recommend the pull/spin design as opposed to the “pump” design.
One of our favorite traditions is decorating the Christmas tree, and house, as a family. The day after Thanksgiving we turn on Christmas music, pop popcorn, and pull out all the decorations. It’s quite a party. If you don’t already do this as a family, try it this year. Isn’t it more important to have a great family memory than the perfect looking tree? Try making it special by either cutting down your own tree, or having your children help make special goodies for the “decorating party”. It’s the times together that our children will remember.
Jesus says in John 8: 12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” What better way to talk about how Jesus come to give us light then by lighting candles!
We had an advent wreath one year when we were living in an apartment. We happened to have no Christmas decorations with us, so we made our decorations that year. One of our favorites was the Advent Wreath. The advent wreath we made was a “flame-less wreath”. We used tubes for the candles and stuffed them with tissue paper that we pulled up when the candle was “lit”. We “lit” one candle a week, on Sunday, and each time we read scripture to go with the candle and talked about what the candle represented.
This year I asked my husband to make me a real advent candle, I’m thinking a birch log with holes drilled out for candles–something I will want to keep for years to come. He has assured me this is a fire risk and will not make it; we shall see… This year our advent wreath will accompany our family Christmas devotional we will be reading, Christ in Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration.
To get ideas to make your own advent wreath google “advent wreath diy”.